Saturday, February 27, 2010

Petra sets record, sells diamond for $35 million

Petra Diamonds sold a 507-carat diamond for $35.3 million on Friday, breaking a record as the highest price ever paid for a rough diamond.

Analysts had estimated the value of the stone, one of the 20 biggest high-quality rough diamonds, at around $25 million.

"It is fitting that the Cullinan Heritage should achieve a sale price of $35.3 million, the highest sale price on record ever achieved for a rough diamond, as it has the potential to produce one of the world's most important polished gems," Chief Executive Johan Dippenaar said.

London-listed Petra said in a statement the gem was purchased in a tender by Chow Tai Fook Jewelry Co Ltd in Hong Kong.

Proceeds will help boost Petra's profit for its fiscal year to end-June after the firm swung to a first-half profit on higher production and sales.

AIM-listed Petra found the gem last September at its 74 percent owned Cullinan mine in South Africa, which it bought from sector giant De Beers in 2007.

The Cullinan mine has been the source of many large diamonds, including the world's largest rough diamond -- the Cullinan -- at 3,106 carats. That gem was cut into the Star of Africa stones that are now set in Britain's Crown Jewels.

Petra was a member of a consortium that paid $148 million when buying the Cullinan mine from De Beers, which is 45 percent owned by mining group Anglo American.

So... I just wonder... When will I find a diamond with that size... :)

Source :Yahoo

Thursday, February 25, 2010

10 Job Sectors in Decline

People in almost every profession may feel like jobs are scarce right now. For many industries, this is a temporary situation. But jobs in some fields are expected to continue disappearing even after the economy picks up.

Is your industry on the decline? The federal government projects that a number of industries will lose jobs from 2008 to 2018.

"You can't sit around and wait for news to come out about what's going to happen to your industry," said Alexandra Levit, author of "New Job, New You." "You have to be proactive about this."

Disappearing Jobs

Here's a list of the top 10 industries expected to lose the most jobs by 2018 -- and what to do if you're working in one of them:

1. Department stores: Projected to lose 10.2 percent of the 1.56 million jobs they had in 2008.
2. Semiconductor manufacturing: Projected to lose 33.7 percent of the 432,000 jobs it had in 2008.

3. Motor vehicle parts manufacturing: Projected to lose 18.6 percent of its 544,000 jobs.

4. Postal service: Projected to lose 13 percent of the 748,000 jobs it had in 2008.

5. Printing and related jobs: Projected to lose 16 percent of its 594,000 jobs.

6. Cut-and-sew apparel manufacturing: Projected to lose 57 percent of its 155,000 jobs.

7. Newspaper publishers: Projected to lose 24.8 percent of its 326,000 jobs.

8. Mining support jobs: Projected to lose 23.2 percent of its 328,000 jobs.

9. Gas stations: Projected to lose 8.9 percent of its 843,000 jobs.

10. Wired telecom: Projected to lose 11 percent of its 666,000 jobs.

Semiconductors are one of several manufacturing industries on the declining list. Because so many different types of manufacturing jobs are disappearing, it will not be easy to simply get another manufacturing job. You may need to develop some completely new skills.

Levit suggests beefing up your resume with volunteer work so you can show skills that will be applicable in other industries. For example, helping a volunteer organization deal with its members can show that you have client-service skills.

She also recommends being innovative to keep your job. "You need to be front and center with management, giving them suggestions for how they can remain competitive."

Are You Affected?

What should you do if your industry is on this list? First, don't panic. The job declines in these industries are projected to take place over a decade. And many jobs -- a majority in most of these industries -- will remain even after 10 years.

Still, it's good to start thinking about Plan B. Build your savings and start researching what other industries might be able to use your skills.

If you're nearing retirement and had been planning to move into a different field, you might want to make the move earlier. And if you have many years of work ahead of you, you should consider seriously whether it's feasible for you to stay in your industry for the long term.

"Start sharpening your transferrable skills," Levit said. These include project management, budgeting, and customer service. "You want to be developing a resume that showcases the skills you have in all those areas."

Source :Yahoo

Saturday, February 13, 2010

5 Foods to Prevent Heart Disease

Eating a healthy diet can be a key method of preventing heart disease. We're highlighting five heart-healthy foods that can literally save your health. We recognize that these are not the only five foods that protect your heart, but they stand out as star performers and great additions to any diet.

1. Garlic: This herb is ideal for heart health. Numerous studies have shown the potential benefits of regular garlic consumption on blood pressure, platelet aggregation, serum triglyceride level, and cholesterol levels – all of which keep your heart performing. Garlic also makes a great seasoning for food so you can greatly reduce salt.

2. Salmon: Make the swap from a saturated fat burger to a salmon fillet. While some saturated fat is fine, a little goes a long way. The average cheeseburger has more than half a day worth of the artery clogging fat, which will increase your risk for a heart attack. Conversely, salmon lowers that risk thanks to heart healthy fats. Omega-3s can prevent erratic heart rhythms, reduce likelihood of blood clots inside arteries, improve the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol, and prevent cholesterol from becoming damaged, at which point it clogs arteries.

3. Berries and Cherries: Props must be given to nature’s candy. These sweet treats are high in polyphenols, which prevent cell damage that creates unhealthy blood vessels and heart. During the winter, opt for frozen berries. Try thawing a bag of frozen strawberries in the refrigerator. Then, add unsweetened, steel-cut oatmeal with the berries their juice and your heart will say thanks with each beat.

4. Quinoa: Often mistaken as a grain, this tiny sprouted seed is an excellent source of magnesium, the mineral that relaxes blood vessels. Low dietary levels of magnesium lead to some scary health issues like increased rates of hypertension, ischemic heart disease and heart arrhythmias. Quinoa cooks quickly and makes great leftovers. Toss with grilled veggies and roasted chicken for a delicious one-pot dinner, or try this Red Curry Quinoa recipe.

5. Hot Cocoa: You read right! Hot cocoa is brimming with antioxidants – two-times more than red wine and three times more than green tea. The cool February temperatures are no match for a mug of hot cocoa. My tip: since hot chocolate mixes are full of sugar, use 100% cocoa and combine with a teaspoon of sugar. Plus you'll sweeten with the natural sugars in the milk.

Source :Yahoo

‘Imlek’ festivity no longer family activity

Wow... This year Lunar New Year & Valentine's Day come in the same day... What a special day specially for you who celebrate them both... Just wishes you all 'Gong He Xin Xi, Wan Shi Ru Yi, Gong Xi Fa Cai'...

Children from various ethnic backgrounds happily shouted or knocked on doors of houses of Indonesian-Chinese around their neighborhoods asking for angpao distributed during Imlek Chinese New Year.

Others played in the street, performing a modified barongsai lion dance in various forms while their parents either sold snacks and accessories typical to Imlek or visited their Chinese neighbors.

At least that was how Jakarta residents used to celebrate Imlek before the New Order government (1966-1998), an observer of Chinese culture, Tedy Jusuf, recalled.

“Imlek used to be a kind of festivity for all citizens before it was restricted under Soeharto’s [New Order] administration,” he told The Jakarta Post recently.

When Soeharto took office in 1967, such cheer was no longer seen since the president issued the 1967 Presidential Instruction on Religion, Beliefs and Chinese Culture in Indonesia.

The instruction ruled that all Chinese religious or cultural celebrations could not be performed publicly and ordered that it should be celebrated with family members only.

“Ever since, we no longer saw or experienced such festivities,” Tedy said.

Chinese scholar Mona Lohanda who spent her childhood in Tangerang, Banten, echoed similar sentiments, recalling that children in her neighborhood used to play with fireworks on the eve of the Chinese New Year.

“We used to pray at the altar at our homes or temples on New Year’s Eve before playing with fireworks until dawn,” she said.

In the morning, the children usually wore new clothes and visited with families and relatives, greeting each other and saying “hope you have a long life and prosperity in the years to come”.

During the New Year festivity that lasts for the first 15 days of the new year, native people also celebrate the event with tanjidor (Betawi traditional music band) and barongsai lion dance performed door to door.

“It peaked during Cap Go Meh celebrations on the 15th day of the new year, where people usually engaged in various entertainment events such as wayang [puppet show], Malay orchestra, keroncong [Indonesian traditional music of Portuguese origin] and many others,” she said.

Unfortunately it all disappeared with the government restriction.

However, Mona complained that even after the government revoked the restriction, she no longer saw the same Imlek celebrations she used to have as a child.

“Imlek has turned into a commercial event and has lost its traditional sense,” she said.

“We can see how festively Imlek is celebrated in malls and shopping centers throughout Jakarta, but we no longer feel an emotional bond.”

Betawi figure Ridwan Saidi said the peak celebration of Chinese New Year was on Cap Go Meh, where the Chinese have dragon and lion dance processions that usually began at Mester (now Jatinegara, East Jakarta) to Senen Market in Central Jakarta and ended at Kota railway station, West Jakarta.

“That event was usually followed by local traditional performances such as keroncong or orkes [musical group performance],” he said.

He acknowledged Jakarta’s administration initiated the restriction on Chinese culture in public.

“It was in the era of Mayor Sudiro in 1958 when celebration of Cap Go Meh was restricted. Then President Soeharto issued the 1967 presidential instruction,” Ridwan said.

He added that as a non-Chinese, he felt disappointed with the regulation because it affected interaction between indigenous and Chinese people.

“We used to live in harmony with the Chinese and we never had any problem with our differences, but then it all changed with the regulation. We expect it will not be repeated,” he said.

Even after the instruction was withdrawn, people can no longer experience the similar festive air of Imlek in the 1950s.

“The celebration no longer has a connection with the people because it is now centered in malls or shopping centers”.

Source :The Jakarta Post

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Valentine's Day Dinner Do's and Don'ts

After 2 weeks got busy with business, just got realize Valentine's day just 1 week ahead... Well, here are some tips to have a romantic Valentine's Day dinner...

The table is set, the lights are low, and your date is ready for a perfectly romantic Valentine's Day dinner. Here are some tips to keep the romance from coming to a screeching halt.

1. Clear the Air. That pesto bruschetta appetizer on the menu might look tempting, but don't forget the number one date rule: bad breath is a mood killer. Skip any dishes loaded with garlic, leeks, or onions and you've already saved yourself the trouble of conspicuously downing breath mints all evening.

2. No Bones. Tread carefully with bone-in meats or fish. On a long-ago Valentine's Day best forgotten, I spent most of my evening trying to casually pick around pesky pin bones from my trout en papillote and yes, nearly choking on a toothpick-sized bone is both scary and unromantic. As for meat, it's a toss up. Some people might be turned on watching their date suck meat off of a bone. Some might not--know your audience.

3. Don't Go Green. We're all for a healthy daily serving of green salad, but all it takes is one little sprig of frisée stuck between your teeth to change the mood from romantic to comedic. And while we're on the topic, avoid dishes with black sesame seeds.

4. Shelling Out. Lobster tail gets a thumbs up--it is wonderfully romantic and decadent. But save shelling shrimps, crabs, and whole lobsters at your favorite seafood shack for another night. Any dinner that requires a plastic bib and and sends shards of shell flying in your hair--or worse, your date's--is ripe for unromantic hijinks.

5. Stick to What You Know. If you opt for a quiet, romantic dinner at home, don't cook anything you haven't made at least once before. Test any new recipes the week before. Valentine's Day is not the day you want to try that roast rack of lamb or souffle for the first time. For example: a well-meaning friend of mine wasn't a seafood lover but clam linguine was his sweetie's favorite. He made it for the first time on Valentine's and he wasn't sure how to serve the clams that didn't open. Finally, he pried them open and served them atop the noodles. You can probably guess how that evening went. [Need we add: Always discard any clams that don't open after 5-10minutes of cooking. They'll probably give you food poisoning.

Source :Yahoo


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